The graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 appear like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space. They are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust. Such striking arms are a hallmark of so-called grand-design spiral galaxies.
In M51, also known as the Whirlpool galaxy, these arms serve an important purpose: they are star-formation factories, compressing hydrogen gas and creating clusters of new stars.
Some astronomers think that the Whirlpool’s arms are particularly prominent because of the effects of a close encounter with NGC 5195, the small, yellowish galaxy at the outermost tip of one of the arms. The compact galaxy appears to be tugging on the arm, the tidal forces from which trigger new star formation. Hubble’s clear view shows that NGC 5195 is passing behind M51. The small galaxy has been gliding past the Whirlpool for hundreds of millions of years.
In Hubble’s captivating image of M51, the red represents infrared light as well as hydrogen within giant star-forming regions. The blue color can be attributed to hot, young stars while the yellow color is from older stars.
Discovered by Charles Messier in 1773, M51 is located 31 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici. It has an apparent magnitude of 8.4 and can be spotted with a small telescope most easily during May. The Whirlpool galaxy’s beautiful face-on view and closeness to Earth allow astronomers to study a classic spiral galaxy’s structure and star-forming processes.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Public domain masterpieces
The mission of this series is to promote space and science. The creators want these designs to hang on your wall, which is in line with our mission in Astrography. That is why we decided to use our competence in printing cosmos inspired graphics and photos to provide you with these projects in the highest possible quality on Fine Art (Giclée) pigments and papers.
These projects are available in the public domain. You can download them from NASA website and print them at any printing house. but we are convinced that thanks to our experience in printing space photographs we are able to provide the best quality of these posters in the world. We do not earn on copyright here. In this series, we provide specializing printing competences & technologies (dedicated in space), packaging and worldwide logistics. Let the promotion of science and art become a common fashion.
Posters will look great in your home, children’s room, or office.
AstroPanel™: Ready-to-Hang Universe
Transform your space with our eye-catching strip-mounted AstroPanel™ Poster! Crafted from premium materials and High-Density Composite panel, this modern masterpiece promises exceptional durability, vibrant colors, and unparalleled visual impact.
Forget about drilling and frame searching - your all-inclusive solution has arrived!
With a tool-free mounting kit and strip-mounted design, hanging and swapping your artwork becomes both quick and convenient.
Enjoy the visual impact of a multi-layer print that's not only eye-catching but also easy to clean and long-lasting.
Durable & Lightweight
Constructed from lightweight and thick High-Density Composite, our product offers easy handling and exceptional durability.
A specialized polymer coating shields the AstroPanel from scratches, water, and UV light, ensuring lasting durability.
Super Happy Customers
We are immensely grateful to our fans for helping us become the leading global seller of space art. With our products reaching over 20,000 customers across 70 nations, your support has truly been invaluable.
Hey there, space enthusiasts! I’m Adam Jesionkiewicz, the founder of Astrography. A few years ago, I decided to step off the corporate ladder and follow my lifelong dream—immersing myself in the breathtaking beauty of the cosmos. Astrography isn't just a business; it's a sanctuary for anyone captivated by the stars, planets, and galaxies far, far away.